The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Harris Today, Gone Tomorrow

The former Republican candidate accused of election fraud in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District will not run in the new election.

The News & Observer / AP / Travis Long

What We’re Following Today

It’s Tuesday, February 26. President Donald Trump arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam, today for his summit with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un. When the summit begins tomorrow, United States negotiators are hoping to come to a deal to denuclearize North Korea—but they might be thwarted by Trump’s go-it-alone approach.

Back in the U.S., the House is expected to vote to block President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the U.S. border with Mexico. That resolution then goes to the Senate, where it needs the support of only one more Republican to pass and be sent to the president, who would then likely veto it.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

A Broken System: At a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, even pharmaceutical executives acknowledged the towering prices of prescription drugs. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot went so far as to say, “The government has to step up and change the rules.”

NC-9: Mark Harris, the former Republican candidate in North Carolina’s Ninth Congressional District whose campaign was marred by election fraud, said he won’t run again in the do-over ordered by the state Board of Elections, citing health concerns. Harris endorsed Stony Rushing, a Union County commissioner, to be the Republican candidate.

Why Not Me?: New York City mayor Bill de Blasio swung through the Hawkeye State this week. He’s probably not going to run, reports Edward-Isaac Dovere, but he’s stepping on other progressive candidates’ toes in the process. He has a history of such behavior. In 2016, de Blasio hesitated to endorse his longtime ally Hillary Clinton; this time around, he is rebuffing the Brooklyn native Bernie Sanders. And as Dovere writes, “Bill de Blasio’s friends, allies, and top aides think his flirtation with running for president is ridiculous. None of them came with him here for the weekend.”

Free College 2020: The Democratic presidential candidates agree that the skyrocketing cost of college has become a full-blown crisis. But when it comes to policy fixes, they diverge. “Whatever the details of the plan, the motive for action is obvious: College has become a prerequisite for most high-paying jobs, and yet college itself is unaffordable for millions,” writes Adam Harris.

Defining Citizenship: Hoda Muthana, a former Alabama college student who left the U.S. in 2014 for Syria to join the Islamic State, wants to come back to America. But the U.S. government says that even though Muthana was born in New Jersey, she’s not a citizen. Krishnadev Calamur explains the intricacies of the case—and what repercussions it could have down the road.

Up, Up, and Away: NASA is fast-tracking an American return to the moon, and hopes to put a human on the lunar surface again by 2028, reports Marina Koren. But a lot is standing in its way.


The motorcade transporting North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, makes it way down a street in Hanoi, Vietnam. (Susan Walsh / AP)

Ideas From The Atlantic

America Must Stand as a Bulwark Against Autocracy, by Adam Schiff
“Across the globe, democracies are mired in an ugly brand of populism often directed against “the other,” and are displaying a troubling receptivity to autocracy as an alternative model of governance. If these trends continue, it will be a tragedy for humankind and a disaster for our national security.” → Read on.

The Dangerous Spread of Extremist Manifestos, by J.M. Berger
“Elliot Rodger did not invent misogyny, just as Dylann Roof came late to racism, and Anders Breivik to religious bigotry. But the heady marriage of words to action makes old hatreds new again. These blood-infused manifestos are seeds that sprout twisted roots from which new mutations, such as the incel movement, eventually grow.” → Read on.

The Trouble With Elizabeth Warren’s Child-Care Plan, by Reihan Salam
“Warren’s proposed federal child-care program would do nothing for stay-at-home mothers and fathers. Indeed, the sheer size of the benefit is such that it would nudge many parents who’d otherwise prefer to devote all of their time and energy to raising their children into the workforce.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Cook County Takes Steps to Erase Its Regional Gang Database, by Mick Dumke, ProPublica Illinois
Did Trump Win His War on the Russia Investigation?, by Matt Ford, The New Republic
If Democrats End the Filibuster, It Could Break American Politics, by David French, National Review
The Jail Health-Care Crisis, by Steve Coll, The New Yorker (🔒paywall)
Thousands of Migrant Youth Allegedly Suffered Sexual Abuse in U.S. Custody, by Caitlin Owens, Stef W. Kight, and Harry Stevens, Axios

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